Ladies Day in science, science-fiction and conspiracies

L. Riofrio ( A Babe in the Universe ), a full-time cosmologist ( and a real hot babe ) laments the ending of another era in scientific research: The closing of Bell Labs:

Along with the Star Trek Experience, another era has ended. Bell Labs, which produced six Nobel Prizes and inventions like the transistor and the hydrogen maser, has been closed by parent company Alcatel-Lucent. In 1965, while tuning a microwave antenna, Bell Researchers Arnold Penzias and Robert Wilson accidentally discovered the Cosmic Microwave Background. The handful of researchers left will be reassigned to other projects.

“Increasingly, long-term research is being carried out in universities and national laboratories with federal grants,” said an APS spokesman. This wishful thinking depends on shrinking college and federal budgets. Scientists are then reduced to wilfare cases, relying on the fickle spigot of government. To get grants one must fill out piles of paperwork. Only a few of the applicants will see a dime. Grants tend to favour those doing “safe” research. Scientists are forced to follow fashionable ideas like “dark energy.”

Hmmm, it sounds like she’s not too impressed with the “dark energy” catch-all that’s popular now-a-days.

I wouldn’t know dark energy from Dark Ages, so I have no dog in this hunt, but it looks as if real cosmologists like this lady take issue with scientific propaganda and the knowledge filter.

Does that make her a whacko conspiracy nut?

Bell Labs 1926-2008


Continuing Ladies in Science Day with Biology in Science Fiction’s Peggy Kolm, a fan of author Cordwainer Smith ( Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger ) like I am and has an interest in how some of his stories reflect the real world in the present:

The Cordwainer Smith Blog (maintained by his daughter Rosana Hart) is asking for tips on science news items that look like part of Smith’s future:

Many things which Cordwainer Smith wrote about are happening now– animal cloning, for one So I have started a category of this blog called “It’s Happening Now,” and when you come across news items that remind you of something in a CS story, do come by and post a comment on this post with links if it was something online you found. Please comment on what bit of what story it reminds you of!

There’s already one example up: use of rat brain cells to guide a robot which echos the laminated mouse brain computer in Smith’s “Think Blue, Count Two”. I’m trying to think of some good examples of my own.

I can think of a couple. The recent hub-bub in the UK and US recently about human/animal genetic mixing;

Science’s new blend mixes man and beast

And a way to induce hybernation during long space flights; New Hibernation Technique Might Work On Humans

Linebarger/Smith also was an expert in psychological warfare and grew up in the Chinese culture.

He had an insight that is probably proving more accurate that most modern sci-fi writers, other than Verne himself.

Is Cordwainer Smith’s Future Today?


Okay, so I can’t help myself in this instance, I just had to have a touch of conspiracy theory here with Lesley of Grey Matters and Debris Field with her take on Michele Malkin and Alex Jones:

I would love to have written something esoteric this week, but as often happens during elections and especially convention time, my thoughts are on more political matters.

While protesting at the DNC, Alex Jones ran into or tracked down (take your pick) Michelle Malkin. As you can imagine, Alex confronted her. He accused her of knowing 911 was an inside job, about FEMA concentration camps and just the regular stuff you would expect from him. Someone, from Colorado Truth (I think), was filming the entire thing.

Luckily this person who had been filming followed one of Michelle thugs when he left her side. The thug found a policeman and reported that Alex had hit Michelle’s bodyguard and threatened to kill Michelle Malkin. That never happened and luckily the guy with the camera was right there and had what really happened on tape.

When things like this happen it only helps Alex Jones, proving his point that the Neocons lie and that conspiracies exist. Absolutely illustrating that people will tell any lie in order to try and facilitate their desired result.

You can see the video here — and probably hundreds of other places.

Yeah, the so-called mainstream has a beef with Jones, and he doesn’t do his cause much justice when he comes across like a two-bit, P.T. Barnum sideshow huckster with the bullhorn crap.

But nine times out of ten he is right, and for the very reasons Lesley points out. And others as well.

Jones just plain outsmarts these damn fools!

Michelle Malkin helps Alex Jones!



3 responses

  1. This is all fascinating–and thanks for taking the time to find and highlight this material for the rest of us. Cordwainer’s daughter preserving his legacy? Good for her!

    Great to discover a fellow SF geek out there in ye blogosphere.

    Keep reading the good stuff…

  2. …a fellow SF geek out there in ye blogosphere…

    Oh yeah, guilty as charged!

    Smith/Linebarger has been in my personal library for over thirty years now. Scanners Live In Vain, Golden the Ship Was-Oh! Oh! Oh!, The Lady Who sailed The Soul, The Burning of the Brain and The Crime and Glory of Commander Suzdal are forever my Smith favorites.

    I see you like Peter Watts as well. I absolutely love his sarcastic, brilliant wit and fiction. Not everyone appreciates his style or understands it.

    The guy is great though!

  3. Peter Watts is that rarity–a smart, decent fella who call also write like a sumbitch. Brutally honest about his craft and just about everything else under the sun. Easily Canada’s premiere SF writer, far superior to the likes of Bob Sawyer…

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